16 Oct 2019
Well, I’m now all caught up on this blog and am now reporting current events. I left O Pedrouzo this morning at 9:00, after having a leisurely pilgrim breakfast at a local cafe. There was no sense in rushing off earlier, as I was only going 10 Kms to Lavacolla. And, by delaying, I was hoping the rain would stop. No such luck: it came down in one form or another, one strength or another, all day long, and there was a mild wind blowing as well. So we were all resigned to being suited up in our rain gear and getting wet.
I pity the mountain bikers in this weather; it’s messy for them, their rain gear blows about a lot, barely keeping them dry, and with no fenders, they get sprayed with cold mud (and other matter) as well.
Cherri keeps appearing. She went into Santiago by taxi yesterday to meet her husband, then they taxied back this morning to the point where she left off so they could walk in together today. Their taxi dropped them off at a cafe and she walks in and – right up to me. I was in there getting some coffee and a stamp for my pilgrim passport. Really – what are the chances of that happening? Astronomical. She pointed out some other interesting points of conjunction: she and her husband lived in McLean, Virginia (a few miles away from me) for some years, and she was born and raised in Salem, Oregon, where my eldest daughter currently lives. Gives me goose bumps…
Despite the rain, there’s now a feeling of pride and jubilation evident in the way people are walking. Many, if not most, that I shared the path with today were headed all the way into Santiago. The rain and wind makes for a less comfortable experience but doesn’t take away from our achievement.
I’m staying tonight in Albergue Lavacolla, a very nice establishment, run by a very welcoming staff who had the whole handling wet clothes-boots drill down to a science. For an extra three Euros, I found myself assigned to a private room that had a single bunk bed in it, with no roommate. Nice. The whole floor of those types of rooms is sparsely populated, so the shared bathrooms and showers are almost private, too.
Tomorrow morning, I’ll be up and out at the usual time, into the forecast rain, for my last few hours on the Camino. I suspect I’ll get emotional when I arrive in the plaza in front of the big cathedral. I’m staying tomorrow night at an albergue in Santiago very aptly named The Last Stamp. So many thoughts going through my mind tonight.